Georgia Special Election Runoffs since 2010

With three state legislative special election runoffs in Georgia tomorrow (HD #80, HD #146, and HD #155), I’ve updated the schedule of all such races in that state since 2010.  [Georgia state legislative runoff elections – 2010 to July 2105.]

Some interesting observations:

Georgia has had many, many runoffs in 2015

Tuesday’s three runoffs brings the total of state legislative special election runoffs in 2015 to 7.  As you can see from the detail, this is more than the 6 such races which took place in both 2011 and 2013.  What’s more amazing is that this number has been achieved even before September.  In ’11 and ’13, there were 3 runoffs each in December.  Since we know Georgia will have at least two more special elections in November of this year (SD #43 and HD #122), more runoffs are possible.

A rare Dem vs. GOP runoff

Tuesday’s runoff in HD #80 between Democrat Taylor Bennett and Republican J. Max Davis represents only the second Dem vs. GOP state legislative special election runoff in the last six years, and the first since 2011.

Finishing first in the special is a big advantage

Since 2010, the candidate who finished 2nd in the special election has won the runoff less than 30% of the time.

Furthermore, if you exclude those instances where either the special or runoff election coincided with a November general election or Presidential Primary, the 2nd place finisher has come back to win the runoff just twice in fourteen instances.  Curiously, those two instances both took place earlier this year:

– In February in HD #50, Brad Raffensperger won his runoff over Kelly Stewart, 53%-47%.  However, he did garner 42% in the January special election and came in 2nd by just 51 votes (2% of the total cast).

– Last month in HD #55, Marie Robinson Metze won her runoff over Shelitha Renee Robertson, 58%-42%.  Her second place finish in the June special election was even closer, by just 9 votes, or 0.3% of the total cast.

None of July’s special elections were that close.  Taylor Bennett finished first over J. Max Davis by over 200 votes (37%-31%) in HD #80.  Shaw Blackmon won the HD #146 special over Larry Walker by over 300 votes (44%-35%).  And Clay Pirkle bested Horace Hudgins by over 175 votes in HD #155 (36%-32%).


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